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Sharpen Up: August 21, 2017

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Here's a bit of good news as we approach the end of the offseason: with the signing of Zemgus Girgensons last Thursday, the Sabres have now officially locked up all of their restricted free agents.

Girgensons agreed to a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $1.6 million. He was the team's last remaining RFA following two-year deals for Johan Larsson, Evan Rodrigues and Nathan Beaulieu and a one-year deal for Robin Lehner. 

"I just thought two years was the best for both sides," Girgensons told The Instigators on Friday. "For me it gives a little bit more breathing room, just to ease my mind and not to stress about next season and just play hockey and do my best. I think it's a good deal for both [sides]."

Girgensons scored 16 points (7+9) in 75 games last season, but he's yet to match the 30-point campaign he produced as a sophomore in 2014-15. He said he recognizes the need for improvement, and he's spent his summer working specifically to improve his shot. 

"I want to improve," he said. "That's one thing I've been lacking the last couple of years. I definitely am not happy with myself, I know I have more to give and I'm looking to prove that."


Eichel wants to 'reward the city'

The contract that remains on the minds of most people in Buffalo is a potential extension for Jack Eichel, a possibility that Sabres general manager Jason Botterill has addressed at multiple points this offseason. Botterill's attitude towards those talks has always been positive, and Eichel reciprocated that feeling in comments to the Lowell Sun on Friday. 

"I've made it clear that I want to be a Sabre," he said. "I want to be in Buffalo when we start winning. I want to reward the city. It's been two great years. I don't want to go anywhere else."


Meanwhile in Minnesota ...

If you've been following Da Beauty League - a star-studded 4-on-4 league in Minneapolis - this summer, you know the Sabres are particularly well represented. Kyle Okposo, Zach Bogosian, Hudson Fasching, Casey Nelson and Casey Mittelstadt have all been participating, and former Sabre and 2016 All-Star Game MVP John Scott - listed as the league's "very part-time honorary commissioner" - suited up last week.  

The league's playoffs begin Monday night, with Nelson and Mittelstadt's BIC team facing Okposo's Velocity team at 6 p.m. Follow along on Twitter @DaBeautyLeague, and check out a few highlights below.

Tweet from @DaBeautyLeague: What a shot by @BogosianZach!!! @WalserAutoGroup now trails 6-4 at half. @BuffaloSabres

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: Kyle Okposo with the goal & big smile �� in @DaBeautyLeague.


Tickets for the All-American Prospects Game are now available

Before the World Juniors return to Buffalo in December, get a sneak peek at some of the players who will represent Team USA at the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at KeyBank Center on Sept. 21.

The game, which features the top American draft-eligible prospects, has been held in Buffalo three times prior, and its alumni include Jack Eichel, Noah Hanifin, Dylan Larkin and Casey Mittelstadt, to name a few. 

Tickets cost $10 ($5 if you're a season ticket holder) and can be found here.


Single-game tickets go on sale Sept. 16

From the press release:

The Buffalo Sabres today announced single-game tickets for the 2017-18 regular season will go on sale on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. The Sabres also announced that tickets for the team's preseason home games will go on sale on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

The team will once again use a dynamic ticket pricing model for all home games in the 2017-18 regular season. The model categorizes each game into one of three pricing tiers to determine the initial box office ticket price for individual game tickets. As fans purchase tickets, the price of each individual game can rise or fall to better reflect the demand for tickets, but will never fall below season ticket prices. The pricing plan for the 2017-18 season includes seven Tier 1 games, 14 Tier 2 games and 19 Tier 3 games.

The Sabres will host Season-Ticket Holder Sneak Peek Week from Sept. 11 to 15, giving season-ticket holders the first chance to purchase extra tickets to individual games. There will also be an individual game presale for My One Buffalo mobile app members and Sabres Insiders on Thursday, Sept. 14.

Mini-Packs, which go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, Aug. 23, give fans the opportunity to create their own ticket package composed of anywhere from five to 39 games. By purchasing a Mini-Pack this season, fans will receive all of their games at the box office price of a Tier 3 game. Additionally, Mini-Pack holders will not pay a ticket service charge and will have the ability to purchase playoff tickets before they go on sale to the general public (based on availability).

New this season is a fifth 300 Level price category, with prices as low as $25 for individual games.

More information, including a pricing breakdown, can be found here.

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